Prenatal massage is therapeutic bodywork that focuses on the special needs of
the mother-to-be as her body goes through the dramatic changes of pregnancy. It
enhances the function of muscles and joints, improves circulation and general body
tone, and relieves mental and physical fatigue.
Your body's working hard, so let an expert trained in pregnancy massage work some
magic on your muscles. Studies have found that moms-to-be can reap both
mental and physical rewards from prenatal massage. In fact, massage is a
common alternative therapy recommended by doctors for pregnant women.
One reason: "Pregnancy does a number on your posture. It compresses your
lower back, weakens your core, and places a lot of pressure on your legs and
Your muscles will certainly appreciate a massage when they've been carrying
around an extra load. Plus, the weight of your growing baby can cause leg
muscles to tense and swell. This inflames
nearby nerves and can lead to sciatic nerve
A prenatal massage differs from a traditional one: For starters, you'll likely be either lying on your side or sitting in a semi-reclining position. "Lying on your back puts too much pressure on your abdomen and can restrict blood flow." To keep your spine in alignment and alleviate lower-back pressure, your therapist may use specially designed pillows or bolsters to support your knees and feet. You may have the option to lie face-down on a massage table that has a hole for your belly in some facilities.